The Purdy Lady Eagles (11-3) recovered from a loss in the semi-finals to claim third place in the Neosho Holiday Tournament with a 49-33 victory over Rogers (Ark.) Heritage on Friday.
"This was a really good tournament for our girls," said Purdy coach Grant Young. "It showed us that if we played as a team we can compete with anyone. The key for the remainder of this season is to channel this effort and energy and use it to play consistently."
The Lady Eagles rallied from a 10-5 deficit after one quarter and outscored Heritage 19-11 in the second quarter and 13-5 in the third.
First team All-Tournament selection Addy Roller scored 20 points to pace Purdy. Katie Hughes and Mattie White, both juniors, added nine apiece.
On Thursday, defending Class 7A Bentonville (Ark.) kept Purdy from scoring a basket in the fourth quarter to advance to the championship of the Neosho Holiday Classic with a 34-28 victory.
Bentonville broke out to a 17-6 lead early in the second quarter with the help of three baskets inside by Whitney Sandmann and a pair of treys by Casey Rashaun.
The Lady Eagles responded with two Roller field goals, including a layup after a steal, and a basket off of an offensive rebound by White to pull within 17-12 at halftime.
Purdy continued the momentum into the third period, holding the Lady Tigers to one field goal in the third quarter as the Lady Eagles chipped away at the one-time 11-point Bentonville advantage.
Purdy tied the score at 17 on a layup by White with 3:46 to go in the third quarter, then the Lady Eagles took a 20-19 on a three-pointer by Roller two minutes later.
Purdy held its largest lead of the game, 26-21, on a three-pointer by Roller as the buzzer sounded at the end of the third quarter. But Roller's two free throws with 2:10 remaining in the game were Purdy's only points the rest of the way.
Roller, who had 4 points in the first half, scored 10 of Purdy's 16 points in the second half and led the Lady Eagles with 14. Senior center Sandmann led Bentonville with 12 points.
"We got them to play our style most of the game, but we had some turnovers, especially in the fourth quarter," Young said. "They had two players on Addy, and we needed somebody else to step up. It's a tough game to swallow, but we need to keep our heads high because it's really going to help us come March."
|The Lady Eagles will be in action on Friday at Pierce City. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.|